Changing My Mind: A Memoir by Margaret TrudeauIn a love story that shocked the world, Margaret Trudeau became the youngest First Lady when at age 22 she married Pierre Trudeau, a man almost thirty years her senior and the 15th Prime Minister of Canada. Pierre Trudeau served from 1968 to 1979 during a critical time in Canadian and international politics and during her term as First Lady, Margaret travelled internationally on government business and met closely with U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter. Stunningly beautiful, Margaret immediately became the focus of attention in any room she entered. Just as Princess Diana refused to submit to traditional expectations to the irritation of Prince Charles and to the criticism of the media, Margaret also remained true to her independent beliefs, which often clashed with the demands of her public role, and the press flocked to her, much to Pierre Trudeau’s chagrin. In her first book in almost thirty years, Margaret looks back on a controversial life and examines the consequences of her lifelong struggle with mental illness.
From flower child to self-described “hippie mother,” unpredictable Margaret Trudeau became synonymous with scandal and intrigue internationally. She was criticized for wearing an inappropriately short dress to an official White House Dinner. She acted as Fidel Castro’s photographer for a day. She burst into song at a state dinner for the President of Venezuela. And rather than celebrate her sixth wedding anniversary with her husband, she spent a legendary weekend with the Rolling Stones, leading to worldwide rumours of trysts with Mick Jagger and Ron Wood.
But happiness was short-lived for Margaret, who suffered a series of tragic losses: divorce from Pierre Trudeau; the death of her youngest son in a skiing accident; and divorce from her second husband, real estate mogul Fried Kemper. Margaret spiraled through suicidal depression and undiagnosed mania. She self-medicated with marijuana and alcohol, starved herself, and engaged in manic spending sprees that left her penniless until she was finally diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder.
Under intense international scrutiny, Margaret Trudeau has lived a life full of highs and lows, but has worked to regain control of her life. She is currently a national mental health advocate who has been awarded the Society of Biological Psychiatry Humanitarian Award for her efforts to help and inspire people suffering from mental illness. In this poignant memoir, Margaret Trudeau reveals her courageous lifetime struggle with mental illness and her journey of recovery, acceptance, and hope.
Margaret Trudeau:"Prince Charles is My Buddy"
PHOTOS show her flinging around the dance floor at Manhattan hot spot Studio 54, demurely accompanying then husband, Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, and standing by Prince Charles in a frilled, plunge-neck cocktail frock. Even as she scandalised officials by smuggling drugs in prime ministerial luggage and smiled alongside Cuban president Fidel Castro as he held her toddler son, it appeared Margaret Trudeau was having a ball.
Margaret Trudeau’s Long, Strange, Canadian Trip
Learn more or sign up now for your day free trial. In both trips she was unaccompanied by her husband, and the upshot—in Canada and through much of the English-speaking world—was raucous, swift, and ruthlessly inquisitive. She may not have anticipated the extent of the uproar, but Margaret has never minded being the centre of attention. The tinderbox went up when she repeated it the following night. The Stones—in their first nightclub performances in 13 years, from which they hoped to record cuts for two upcoming albums—were indeed in superlative form. Still, the storm was yet to break. Later that night she went to a Stones party in their suite.
CHICAGO — Fifteen minutes after striding in shiny red shoes to the centre of the stage of an intimate Chicago comedy club, Margaret Trudeau had those in attendance shouting something that sounded quite like fuddle duddle. F— you! To keep everything hush-hush, she was put in a part of the hospital normally populated by men with erectile dysfunction. Wearing jeans and a white shirt, reading a script, glasses on, and sometimes gripping the top of a black music stand with her left hand, Trudeau chatted for a straight hour-and-a-half to an audience of a couple hundred seated cabaret-style, as waiters circulated filling drink orders. One moment she was imitating Pierre by lowering her voice, sounding stern and frowning. Another moment she was describing how the Queen once saved her from tripping out of a curtsy.
The mother and ex-wife of Canadian prime ministers, Margaret Trudeau is taking on a new role -- headlining a one-woman show examining her colorful life and battles with mental illness. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized several times, Trudeau tells the crowd how there were "whispers that Margaret was crazy. Trudeau's son Justin, Canada's current prime minister who will be seeking a second term in October, saw the show in Chicago in May. Margaret Trudeau married Pierre Trudeau, Canada's prime minister for 15 years in the s and 80s, when she was only 22 years old and he was They split after six years. Meanwhile, the bohemian politician's wife became tabloid fodder in Canada and the United States for high-profile hijinks she now blames on her mental illness.
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My day with Margaret Trudeau—the glamorous former first lady of Canada, s tabloid fixture, and mother of the country's handsome, young, newly elected prime minister, Justin Trudeau—begins with an unscheduled 8 A. We were scheduled to meet later in the day, at 2 P. She offers to pick me up herself. A few hours later, a dented red sedan pulls up in front of the Hotel Le St-James in Old Montreal, the back piled high with sports equipment and children's car seats. Soon she is belting out Adele's "Hello" as we sit in traffic, her voice swooping from octave to octave while bemused college students observe from the sidewalk. At 67, Margaret, dark-haired and trim in a sleek black dress, still emanates the beauty and ebullience that captured international attention when, in , at the age of 22, she married Pierre Trudeau, Canada's then prime minister. Charismatic and commanding, Trudeau, 29 years her senior, was a popular—and progressive—leader.
While we see a lot of Trudeau's wife, Sophie his mother Margaret is a bit less known to our generation. Given that it's mother's day though, it seemed like an appropriate time to talk about Margaret Trudeau, the mother and wife behind two Canadian Prime Ministers. Let's start by hearing what Justin Trudeau has to say about his own mother. This wasn't the first time he has given Margaret Trudeau a shout out online. Fittingly, he also posted about her last year on Mother's Day, though he didn't reveal any more details about what kind of mother she is. Instead, he posted about all the mothers, grandmothers, wives, and friends who "we're all so lucky to have in our lives, guiding us with unconditional love. While Justin Trudeau hasn't told us a lot about his mother, we're here to fill in some gaps.
He had already dispatched the hearts of Ursula Andress, Bianca Jagger , two wives, and a host of others. And as he pulled up to the entrance of the Beverly Hills Hotel on that day in , driving a beige Rolls and wearing a Hawaiian shirt, he was soon to do the same to Margaret Trudeau, the wispy, glamorous wife of the prime minister of Canada. And, boy, how Margaret Trudeau had lived. A photo of her kicking up her heels on the 54 dance floor—the same night in that her then husband lost re-election—was zapped all over the world, confirmative evidence of her status as the gold standard in reckless bohemian chic. I remind her of this story one night as we sit in the back of a car, on the outskirts of Toronto. But despite her fortitude, she cannot completely vanquish regret, having lived a big, wild, public life. And yet you know you were trapped in the reality of mental illness.